Watch below. I could not find a transcript.
Watch below. I could not find a transcript.
If Republicans cared about the deficit, they wouldn't have held middle-class tax cuts hostage for a ransom of tax cuts for the very wealthy, tax cuts that the very wealthy do not need. Tax cuts for the wealthy that won't create jobs or stimulate the economy. Tax cuts for the wealthy that added to the federal deficit, the same federal deficit Republicans now pretend to be so worried about that they need to slash and burn federal spending. Spending for such things as food assistance for low-income Americans, which Republicans want to cut even as they retain farm subsidies. Spending for such things as life-saving immunizations. Spending for such things as food and health assistance around the world, without which some 70,000 children could die. And not content to make Americans go hungry and die of preventable diseases, and for tens of thousands of children around the world to starve to death, rather than have the very wealthy pay more taxes, Republicans also have their "hearts" set on eliminating Medicare and eviscerating Medicaid. And they want to repeal the Obama health plan, even though doing so would make the deficit even worse.
Let's not pretend that Republicans actually care about the deficit. If they did, their approach in addressing it would be responsible and humane. Republicans don't care about the deficit. They only care about cutting government programs that help people in need. It's part of their larger agenda of blatant class warfare. Republicans prefer that millions of people suffer, and that at least tens of thousands of people die, rather than that the very wealthy once again pay the taxes that eliminated the previous Republican deficits to create the previous Democratic surplus. Leave it to the mental health professionals to diagnose the psychology of such values. If anyone can afford mental health professionals, with states now also in budget crises thanks to the genius of tax cuts.
But lest you think that Republicans don't have any spending priorities at all, keep in mind that they do want to use federal money, just so it is spent in pursuit of their Medieval social agenda. But that's just relative pocket change. While Republicans seem actually to want for people in need to suffer and die, they also want to throw unfathomably budget-busting pallets of cash at their favorite budget sinkhole. As reported by Ryan Grim:
While media attention focuses on the cuts to government spending demanded by House Republicans and broadly accepted by Democrats, the Pentagon is poised to reap billions more in federal funds, according to sources close to the discussions. The confines of the budget negotiations established by the two parties results in a system where every extra dollar going to military spending ends up being offset by a dollar reduction in spending on domestic social programs.
Got that? It's an actual tradeoff. Punish more people in need to free up more cash for the Pentagon. The Democrats actually proposed some reductions to the Pentagon budget, and in January Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen outlined plans for responsible Pentagon budget cuts:
"A major objective beyond creating monetary savings is to make this department less cumbersome, less top heavy and more agile and effective in the execution of its responsibilities," Gates said. "My hope and expectation is that as a result of these changes over time, what had been a culture of endless money, where cost was rarely a consideration, will become a culture of savings and restraint."
But Republicans know better than the Defense Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Grim:
Democrats and Republicans are now moving toward an agreement that would increase defense spending. But Democratic sources close to the talks said the Democrats' spending recommendation remains roughly $2 billion shy of that of their Republican counterparts. A spokesman for the Senate spending panel declined to comment, citing ongoing talks. A spokesman for Senate Democratic leadership did not respond to requests for comment.
So the Pentagon itself says it doesn't need more money, but not only are Democrats being pushed to give them more, the Republicans are insisting that the amount the Democrats are offering, and which the Pentagon says it doesn't need, still isn't enough! But it's so important that we cut the deficit that we have to cut funding that feeds the hungry, prevents disease, and cares for the sick. And keep in mind that it's not as if the Pentagon is anything remotely close to being underfunded. So what is it? Do Republicans think the answer to everything is to throw money at it? Do they have so little respect for the men and women in American uniform that they think they need such hardware overkill in order to protect the homeland? Are Republicans perpetually mired in a state of priapic adolescent arrested development, thinking the measure of their machismo is the size of their arsenal? Or is it just good old corporate welfare for the military industrial complex? Maybe it's some combination of all of the above. But it's a staggeringly irresponsible waste of resources that does nothing to enhance our national security.
As The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation made clear, the United States spends more than eight times as much on defense as does the next closest country, Russia. The United States spends more than twice as much as does the next major military presence, which is America's combined NATO allies. And not that it will satisfy paranoid Republicans, but the United States spends more than three times as much as do imagined potential adversaries Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and Venezuela combined. And for those particularly paranoid Republicans, the United States also spends more than 10 times as much as does that most sinister of all perpetual antagonists: France. And to put it in terms of actual budget and policy priorities, there is this concise explanation from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
Between fiscal year 2001 (the last year for which appropriations levels were set under President Clinton) and fiscal year 2008, funding for domestic discretionary programs has been more constrained than any other area of the budget and has shrunk both as a share of the budget and as a share of the economy. In contrast, appropriations for defense and other security-related programs have increased more rapidly than any other area of the budget — even more rapidly than the costs of the “big three” entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Republicans don't care about the budget. They are using the budget as an excuse and red herring to recast the very nature of the United States government, and the very nature of the United States. They don't care if those in need suffer and die. They don't care about jobs. They don't care about a social safety net. They do care very much about protecting the very wealthy. They do care very much about wealthy corporations. And the one thing at which they want to throw truly unimaginable amounts of money is the military. This is a huge clue as to their mindset. Because when you stop and consider the consequences of causing more and more suffering and unrest among more and more people while at the same time ensuring that the military is much more powerful than any military anywhere needs be, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Republican values are not only inhuman and inhumane, they are dangerous and creepy.
In case any of you were wondering if President Obama was going to run for reelection, there is no more need to wonder, yes he is, and Yes he Can, WIN!!!
Today the President sent an E-Mail to all of his supporters announcing his reelection, here is the E-Mail I received:
Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.
We're doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you -- with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.
So even though I'm focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.
We've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we've made -- and make more -- we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.
As we take this step, I'd like to share a video that features some folks like you who are helping to lead the way on this journey. Please take a moment to watch:
Love him or hate him, the President and the leader of the Democratic Party, is in it, to win it.
Just a couple weeks out from the start of military operations in Libya, President Obama will address an audience at Georgetown University today at 11:20 AM EDT. Here's the announcement from the White House:
Today at 11:20 a.m. EDT, President Obama will deliver a speech at Georgetown University, where he will outline his plan for America’s energy security. You can watch the speech live at WhiteHouse.gov/live.
Following the speech at 2:30 p.m. EDT, Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, will be answering your questions about the President’s speech and securing our energy future on Twitter. Tweet your questions to @whitehouse from 2:30-3:00 p.m. EDT.
For those interested, this will serve as a live blog. Please add your comments to provide more information, share your ideas, and questions.
I started my day yesterday in a bit of a funk. I had woken up early and was unable to go back to sleep, for the second night in a row.
The first thing I did was check Twitter, where I read more grim news from Japan: it looked like a meltdown of one or more reactors was imminent. The Japanese people are trying to deal with this on top of the devastation from the earthquake and tsunami.
Meanwhile the battles in Libya are being forgotten by the media and international community, the media barely takes note of the continuing protests of workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere, and the right wing in this country has begun making inroads in its all-out assault on everything we care about -- everything that matters in the lives of working Americans.
I wasn't in the best state of mind to deal the challenging and hectic day ahead--we were running a big organizing/training event, one we'd been working on for the past few weeks. But on my way to the event, I reminded myself of something I've learned over the past few years:
Getting out and getting to work with other volunteers can completely change your mood.
And that's exactly what happened.
In the photos that follow, I think you'll get a sense of how this works. It's just not possible to spend the day with so many dedicated, interesting, enthusastic people and not come away feeling better.
No great movement can overwhelm its opposition by gutting its own morale.
We have the potential to be a great movement, even beyond what Obama led in 2008. In fact, we must become that movement, if we are to win over the Republicans in a decently short time frame.
But first, we've got to let go of despair. Not disappointment. But disappointment should drive us to participate, not drive us into the floor like a hammered nail, not believing anything can be done.
Some fellow, believing himself witty, talks about losing hope that Obama would be Audacious. That's a complete misunderstanding of what Obama meant by that phrase.
Hi, all. Today's report features:
Behind the Scenes at "In Performance": Join John Legend behind the scenes with performers including Jamie Foxx, Sheryl Crow, Nick Jonas, Seal, Gloriana, Jordin Sparks and more in the green room during rehearsal and backstage during production of "In Performance at the White House: The Motown Sound"."
The Commencement Challenge: The Commencement Challenge invites public high schools across the country to demonstrate how their school best prepares them for college and a career; John Legend encourages schools to get involved.
EPA Update: Economic, environmental and health benefits of the Clean Air Act; EPA Administrator Jackson discusses women in science; EPA and Justice announce $4 million penalty for coal supplier that violated Clean Water Act.
Creating Green Jobs: Transportation Secretary LaHood reports on an electric bus manufacturer that, thanks to federal investment, has developed zero-emissions transit buses and added hundreds of new jobs in South Carolina.
White House Press Briefing: Mr. Carney takes questions on Libya, the President's upcoming visit to Florida, budget talks and other issues.
Foreign Policy Update: Secretary of State Clinton testifies on "Assessing U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities and Needs Amidst Economic Challenges" before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Hi, all. Today's report features:
POTUS & VPOTUS Address Governors: The President and Vice President speak to the Nation's governors about their plans to work with the states to help advance the President's goal of winning the future.
FLOTUS & SLOTUS Address Governors: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden welcome the Nation's governors to the White House and talk about their campaign to support America's military families.
A Toast to the Governors: President Obama toasts the nation's governors, saying that they have a partner in the White House as they deal with difficult economic times. Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire offers a toast to the President.
Health Care Update:Secretary Sebelius discusses the President's proposal to allow states greater flexibility in implementing health care plans.
White House Press Briefing: Mr. Carney is joined by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice.
America's Great Outdoors Live Chat: Submit video questions on the intiative for Thursday's live chat.
Energy Update: The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy encourages the most advanced clean energy innovations.
Winning the Future Forum on Small Business:Behind the scenes at the Cleveland forum.
Hi, all. Today's report features:
Community College Summit Livestream: Watch it live this morning at 9 a.m. EST; the summit focus is “Transitioning Adult Learners to Community Colleges and the Workforce.”
Weekly Address: The President discusses examples he's seen of how America can win the future. He urges Congress to heed these examples in the coming budget debate and not eliminate investments in innovation, education and infrastructure.
Standing Up for Justice: As part of the Celebrating Black History Month series, Attorney General Holder discusses his work and "the pursuit of justice for all."
"Winning It" for Colorado Conservation: Interior Secretary Salazar's shout-out to Aron Ralston, who donated his "Minute to Win it" winnings to a Colorado environmental group.
Energy Backs Oregon Geothermal Project: DOE finalizes Recovery Act loan guarantee; project uses improved technology.
Veterans: HUD and Veterans Affairs work to help homeless veterans; an overview of African-American military service.
HUD Help for Victims of Domestic Violence: Fair Housing Act allows investigation whether evictions in domestic violence cases consitute housing discrimination.
In Performance at the White House: Watch the recent tribute to Motown on PBS, March 1.
Have a question about the new DK4 Groups feature? You are not alone. This diary hopes to help with that, and answers a few basic questions to get you started.
It was almost exactly four years ago, some time in February of 2007, when I showed up to a meeting in a rented church hall with a lot of like minded individuals from my community for the first gathering of what became East Bay for Obama.
If you read my diaries over the last four years, you would know what happened next: Barack Obama ruined my life. Rewrote all my plans. Worked me harder than I ever imagined. And I couldn't be happier about it. Of course I thought I was done in November of 2008. Of course I was totally wrong about that.
Now here we are four years later, and the stakes are actually higher. We have to defend what we've managed to win -- at such great cost -- all over again. Which means we have to be the most organized and effective volunteer political force in history. Again.
Now we have an online space to meet, talk, share, plan and organize.
It's called 4more, and it's a new Daily Kos User Group.
If you want to get involved in the re-elect, or just learn more about it, that's where we'll be.
I know this has been written about some here, but I'm still seeing some confusion. Just the other day I was explaining to someone about how I used to believe it was talking down to people to repeat the same things over and over again, but later realized that my students could benefit from hearing me say the same thing multiple times, sometimes from multiple perspectives. I think I have this down, but if anyone feels as though I'm missing anything, feel free to let me know.
So I'm going to take a stab at explaining what groups are on DK4 and how they work.
First, there are basically four things you can do with respect to a group. Follow, contribute, edit and administer.
I'll take each of these in turn.